•Amerindians, the natives of the country, are descendants of a group that migrated from Siberia (across the Bering Strait) around 9000 BC.
•Portuguese explorers, colonists, and settlers came to the country beginning in 1500.
•From 1530 until 1850, enslaved Africans were brought to the country.
•During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a variety of groups from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East arrived in the country.
A 2000 census showed that approximately 53.7% of Brazil’s population is white, 38.5% pardo or mulatto, 6.2% black, and 0.5% Asian. With this rich and varied population, the celebration of holidays in Brazil is sure to encompass this diversity. What are some of the holidays in Brazil?
New Year’s Day (January 1) -- Rio de Janeiro is the place to be on New Year’s Day. Copacabana beach has some of the best fireworks and live music in South America.
Carnival Rio (late February to early March) – Who has not heard about Carnival? Rio de Janeiro is the place most often associated with Carnival; however, events take place all over the country.
Good Friday (March or April) -- Because Brazil is predominately a Catholic nation, Good Friday is a national holiday.
Tiradentes Day (April 21) – This holiday commemorates Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier’s execution. In 1789 Xavier, a dentist, helped lead the revolt against the Portuguese who had colonized and exploited the country. The holiday is called “Tiradentes” because the word means “tooth-puller.”
Labor Day (May 1) – As with other countries in the world, Brazil celebrates Labor Day on May 1 and has made it a national holiday.
Independence Day (September 7) – On September 7, 1822, Dom Pedro made an official declaration of Brazil’s independence from Portugal.
Republic Day (November 15) – Strangely enough, November 15 commemorates the day Dom Pedro was removed from power in 1889.
Christmas (December 25) – For most Brazilians, the Christmas celebration is based on European traditions. Northern European and North American traditions such as tree trimming, exchanging gifts, and sending Christmas cards are a part of the celebration.
Other important holidays in Brazil include the following:
Founding of Rio de Janeiro Day (January 20) – This day celebrates the establishment of the city. A spectacular festival is held.
Founding of Sao Paulo Day (January 25) – The city of Sao Paula is the largest in Brazil. Over 20 million people celebrate this day.
These are just a few of the holidays in Brazil that Brazilians, tourists, and others celebrate throughout the year.